“ALICE IN WONDERLAND” COUNTDOWN: 13 DAYS
Are you ready for a trip down the rabbit hole? Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Disney are adding a strange new chapter to the Lewis Carroll classic with their “Alice in Wonderland,” a film that presents a young woman who finds herself in the world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen. She is welcomed as a returning visitor — but is she, in fact, the same Alice who roamed the trippy realm as a child? Time will tell. Here at the Hero Complex, we’re counting down to the film’s March 5 release with daily coverage.
The Mad Hatter came out to play. . . in Hollywood.
The Hollywood & Highland complex transformed into Wonderland for a few hours Friday night as hundreds of fans gathered in the plaza’s courtyard (and alongside the railings of its upper levels) for an “Alice in Wonderland” bazaar that included appearances by the fantastical film’s star-studded cast.
“Wonder” friends in the crowd cheered as Tim Burton summoned Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Crispin Glover, Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Lucas and Michael Sheen on stage to cap off the two-hour event. But the screams became deafening when another character joined the tea party. Sporting his trademark tinted glasses and a scarf, Johnny Depp shuffled onto the stage to greet his loyal subjects. And in a matter of seconds, the cast was gone.
Prior to what seemed like an illusion, the event — which streamed live on MySpace and was hosted by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Records — also marked the official release of the film’s soundtrack “Almost Alice” and featured performances from four featured artists who did a short (almost inaudible) set to highlight included songs. The line-up included Kerli’s “Tea Party,” Never Shout Never’s “Sea What We Seas,” Metro Station’s “Where’s My Angel” and 3OH!3’s “Follow Me Down.”
As the bands did their best to pump up the crowd, it was the star cast’s appearance that had most people smudging their makeup with joy. And there was lots of makeup. Fans didn’t merely attend the event. They lived it. A few dressed as the fluffy White Rabbit. Others donned their best Alice costumes, which included the slutty Halloween leftovers as well as the more wholesome translations. Quite a few tried to rule the plaza as the Queen of Hearts and some even ordered their posse around. And then there were the hatters. Some got gussied up in the vein of Depp’s portrayal, while others, like Jaimie Corpus, simply sported the top hat.
“This was amazing,” said Corpus, 20, who, along with three friends, scored wristbands to catch a VIP screening of 3-D footage from the film at the adjacent El Capitan Theatre. “I’ve been out here since noon. To see all these bands . . . and to get these wrist bands. And Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, I mean, they were the reason I took the train from Rosemead. I can’t wait to see the film. I’ve been waiting two long years. It’s almost time!” — Yvonne Villarreal
Photos: (top) Johnny Depp, Matt Lucas, Crispin Glover and Michael Sheen; (middle) Kerli; (bottom) Fans Shane Theis and John Ward came dressed as Alice and the Mad Hatter. Credit: Yvonne Villarreal